Tiare Taporo, Lunenburg

28 10 2012

In July of this year, I was walking along the path at the Foundry in Lunenburg, when I noticed this ship. The first day, it did not have the masts, but later in the week it looked like this. I wondered who would be converting a fishing boat to a sailing ship. The name on the side was Tiare Taporo, Avatiu. Avatiu is in the Cook Islands.

I went home to do some research.

The original Tiare Tapore was one of the very last ships to trade under sail in the Cook Islands and the South Pacific. You can read about her here.


Pacific Schooners Limited, through the travels of the Picton Castle, became aware of the need for a passenger, cargo vessel, to go between the Cook Islands and the South Pacific. Having a vessel that could use wind power, would help save money on diesel.

So, where did this new Tiare Taporo come from?

Two fishing boats have been sitting in Lunenburg Harbour for some time. You will see them in the centre of this foggy photo I took. They are the green, black and mustard scallop draggers, the Zebroid and Primo, that belonged to Clearwater.

It was decide to convert the Zebroid into a new sailing, cargo vessel.

I found this excellent photo on Flickr, taken by Dennis Jarvis.


The Zebroid was taken to the dry dock, for work to begin on her hull. I did see her there, but didn’t realise that she was the ship I later saw at the Foundry. She looks much bigger out of the water.


Her sister ship, the Primo, still sits in her green paint.

I have read on the Tiare Taporo site, that the plan is for the ship to

  • carry 200 to 300 tons of break-bulk cargo including; frozen fish, fuel transport, freight, orders, govt supplies and trade goods.
  •  carry doctors and dentists as often as possible to provide specialist care for outer islanders.
  • take up to 30 passengers, 8 professional crew and 6 apprentices in comfortable cabins and bunks.
  • provide  a dependable regularly scheduled service to the islands.

The new, white, Tiare Taporo sits in the main harbour just now, alongside the Picton Castle, which is just about to head off on its next voyage to the South Pacific.

I have just looked at the last photos I took, before the Picton Castle went off for the summer and see that the Tiare Taporo was in the background.

I wonder when she will head off for her new life?




6 responses

29 10 2012

I love how you got curious about this ship and then followed up to find the back-story.

BTW, Congrats on the “Fresh Pressed”. Very cool accomplishment.

29 10 2012

We see different boats in the foundry dock, having work done – one of the Dartmouth Ferries is there just now, but this one had us stumped. It just looked like an old fishing boat with masts being fitted! This Tiare Taporo was supposed to be off to the Cook Islands in September. Don’t know why it’s still in Lunenburg.

11 11 2014
David Sorcher

Well, she was still there this August, 2014 (2 YEARS later!) so i am curious what is actually planned for the vessel.

6 11 2015

How nice to read this story – a nice throwback :). She left Lunenburg in July of 2015 and is well on her way to the Cook Islands, after spending some time in Panama.

25 11 2015

Thanks for your comments, Trudi. I did take some photos of her as she left Lunenburg and meant to do an update, but forgot all about it.

5 03 2016
Bryan Hayter

I have a photo of her from when I was in Lunenburg in September , 2013, aboard Wanderbird, out of Belfast, Maine. Tiara Taporo is somewhat similar to Wanderbird, a Dutch built beam trawler of approx. 90 feet, converted ( in Lunenburg) to an eco expedition vessel! Spent three glorious sunny days docked in Lunenburg encounter to Maine from Newfoundland.

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